A SERIES OF TEXTS (PART 1: OCTOBER)
By Agnieszka Ryszkiewicz
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It all started because of B.
You see, B was part of the Danceweb program this year, and she absolutely did some dense-intense webbing and dancing. Now, it may sound as if I am envious but I am not. Honestly! I personally find that entire Impulstanz thing a bit overrated, and populistic, popular, pop, and posh, and pompous. And all those artists from all those countries in fancy "danza" outfits trotting across Vienna, occasionally making a little street performance here and there, like as if theater was not enough. And …
I got slightly carried away; it is neither the place nor the time here. Eventually B. and the rest of the "dirty 60" (it is how I used to think of her danceweb friends, like the Dirty Dozen or something), well they intended to launch an open format project entitled "Ophelia is not dead". Heh!? And what do you say? Ain't my name really Ophelia? Therefore I found it most relevant to join! The idea is that anyone can participate and do whatever he/she wants. Any form is possible; the only requirement is the common title "Ophelia is not dead". It is this globalistic idea of an artistic contribution that spreads like a contagious disease, like an unknown virus all over the world from Mexico through South Africa all the way to Japan. My contribution happens to be this.
My blog, the "Ophelia is not dead" blog.
Intentionally, I was rather thinking about a book, and of course in my own language it would have been far easier. I would have created a fictitious character so that my readers would keep asking themselves whether the acting subject is the author's alter ego …
I would have started my book like this:
"Under what circumstances, is it plausible that an unmarried, socially respected woman calls herself a younger, much younger man?"
Or rather this way (so that it doesn't sound like another Jane Austen epic):
"It has always been good form to begin a book with an accurate quotation, a funny motto, a wise idiom or at least a touching dedication …" a bit pretentious maybe and too funny and cynical, pseudo-distant. Cynicism fits menopausal women but when you are twentyish and have 220cm of legs it does you no good. The opening chapter should be spectacular; fireworks and whistles, bursting directly into the middle of the action:
"She was running down the stairs into the marble hall clamping the bloody tutu to her thin dark chest."
Oh God, it is all about potentiality. B. gave my this article where Jan Ritsema talks about the power of potentiality, about the "in-between space" that is neither one nor the other but something else. Let me quote him so that I don't mislead you by being imprecise:
"Strength does not lie in occupying one camp or the other. Power resides in the border zone, and the border zone is never a massive wall or an impregnable fortress but is always an area filled with holes. We are interested not in the position on either side of the border zone but in the potentiality of the holes it contains.
The border zone is a no-man's-land of potentialities. There, things and opinions are not yet set in stone, things and opinions are able to become, to become many things.
How do we think we can achieve this? By establishing this in-between situation (…).
(…) The displaced place where things can be thought anew. To this end, we must blur the known properties of a performance as much as possible."
Do you get it? The guy is smart, isn't he?
Therefore instead of writing a huge volume that only a couple of millions could understand and probably a few would have ever read I decided for a blog. It is in fact a hol(e)y space ;) where my stories can intermingle with your comments; A visual proof that art (with a small "a" in my case) is communication!
We can try to deteriorate each other's readings and writings.
But not too much, so that I won't get confused.
See, I like to think of myself as a younger "artsy fartsy" version of Carrie Bradshaw (just love Sarah Jessica Parker) from Sex and the City. Only that my column would deal with dance and performance instead of sex. Therefore my hobby-horse could be sex and gossip (and not fashion), because I am concerned with the fact that few people would genuinely be interested in regularly reading a column totally and exclusively about dance.
I will try to be honest with you; please don't let me down. I think I might not survive it.
Amen, I have said. I'm looking forward to you reading me next week, again.
PS: The great thing about my "Ophelia" project is that while watching the 4th season of "SATC" I can eventually call it WORK!
 Jan Ritsema obviously, a lecture about improvisation as a performance.
(Transmitted via time machine from October 2008)